I don't know why I bother to write or why I think I should add to the world's supply of what - knowledge? information? thinking? drivel? There is so much marvellous stuff to read and not enough time in the world to read it all, who do I think I am to keep trying to contribute to the mass and why do I bother? This weekend I am reading four or five books at the same time. Wherever I am, and wherever I have put one down, I'm reading and they are all interesting books: David Rakoff's posthumous verse novel, LOVE DISHONOR MARRY DIE CHERISH PERISH; Luanne Armstrong's THE LIGHT THROUGH THE TREES; Paul Theroux's THE TAO OF TRAVEL; Donald Hall's UNPACKING THE BOXES (asked what it's about, he answered, "love, death and New Hampshire"); and Kate Atkinson's STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG. I'm a bit behind on that one because I'm reading it only when I go down to the gym to pedal and I haven't been to the exercise room for over a week (too hot or too many guests - I bicycle at 5 p.m. but not if I'm cooking), and to tell the truth, I'm not liking it much. There are more books waiting for me, right at hand. I buy more than I can read, and faster. And my reading is not random; there is a purpose and a reason for every book and I try to be discriminate, choosy, even. Enough already. I think I told you that I stopped buying cookbooks and began to give them away when I realized that if I started then to cook my way through every cookbook I owned I wouldn't finish in my lifetime. That's true of my books, too, but I can't stop buying. I remember a friend saying he found it comforting to buy a book because it was almost as if he had read it - there it was on his shelf, giving off comforting vibes, becoming familiar. If only.